When I cooked up a chicken or turkey, I used to routinely throw out the bones when I was done removing the meat from them. But several years ago, I got smart and started saving my chicken and turkey bones to make my own homemade chicken broth!
The thing is, I had heard people talk about using homemade chicken broth, or chicken stock as it is sometimes called, for a long time, but for some reason, I just kind of ignored it. After all, I didn’t really need another thing to add to my “to-do” list! Then one day, I was reading a friend’s blog and she talked in more detail about how she made her own chicken stock and how simple it was and how rich the broth was and well, I kind of decided I was crazy for not doing it myself!
Not only is homemade chicken broth super simple to make, it is also considered very healthy since the nutrients from the bones get “cooked out” into the broth. Plus it’s such an easy way to save money too! I rarely need to buy chicken broth anymore and making my own literally costs me just pennies. To think that all those years I was glibly throwing out the bones thinking they were useless!
Saving chicken or turkey bones to make my own homemade chicken stock is now just part of my routine when I cook up a bird. If I don’t have enough bone to fill my crock-pot full, I simply put them in a Ziploc bag and freeze them until I collect enough to make a crock-pot full. The process is so simple to do and it produces such a strong, rich broth that sometimes I actually water it down a little bit!
Oh and in case you are wondering, if you use turkey bones, you can definitely just use the turkey broth as a substitute for chicken broth. I do it all the time and can’t tell any difference.
Want to make your own chicken or turkey stock? Here’s how!
Homemade Crockpot Chicken Broth
- Chicken (or turkey) Bones, skin and any scraps
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar*
- ½ Tbsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 onion, chunked (opt.)
- 2 carrots, chopped (opt.)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped (opt.)
- Place bones in crock-pot.
- Add vinegar, salt, pepper and any onions, carrots and celery that you want (as well as any other seasonings you feel like throwing in).
- Cover with water and put the lid on the crockpot.
- Turn it on to low and allow the bones to cook at least 8 hrs.** (Cooking it longer will not hurt anything—you’ll just get more nutrients from the bones.)
- Strain out the bones, skin and vegetables.***
- Use broth immediately or once cooled, divide into containers and freeze.****
You can also do this on the stove top. Just simmer on low for 8 hrs. or longer. You may also need to stir occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of pan.
* The vinegar helps draw the nutrients from the bones (which is super healthy and good for you!) and you won’t taste it as it is such a small amount.
** I like to start this right before I go to bed and then just let it cook all night long.
*** I like to use a fine mesh strainer, but a colander with a coffee filter in it will work too.
**** I find it works well for me to freeze the broth in 1 to 2 cup portions since that tends to be the amounts that I use the most. (2 cups chicken broth = 1 can chicken broth.)
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